For the Girls

Place at a Glance

Name/Location Nebraska History Museum
Website/Facebook http://www.nebraskahistory.org; Nebraska History Museum on Facebook
Open hours 9 – 4:30 Monday – Friday; 1 – 4:30 Saturday &Sunday ; closed state holidays;Investigation Station: open from 1-4 daily: excellent hands-on learning room
What to Know Both set & rotating exhibits; must check large bags; no food/drink
Cost Suggested donation of $2; great Museum store – items for kids too
Parking Meters for $1/hour; Area garages: $1/hour; first hour is free
Group Tours Schedule 2 weeks to year in advance; field trip cards available; Tours
Museum Manners While there are certain parts that are interactive, much of the museum is “no touch, no climb”; parental supervision is definitely necessary
Recommended Ages Investigative Room: ages 3 and up; rest of museum: ages 6 & up

After visiting the museum, I determined that there is too much information for just one blog entry.  So to start, I thought I would just tell about two special displays currently at the Nebraska History Museum that are for girls!

Exhibit # 1

Miss America exhibit sign

When I saw this exhibit information on our Lincoln Passport page, I was determined to take my daughter there before the display was done.  Along with many other Nebraskans, I celebrated when I heard that Miss Nebraska Teresa Scanlan had won the Miss America Pageant in 2011.  And as more information was told about her, I was even more delighted as she seemed to be a young woman of character (and she was even homeschooled for the majority of her education!)

Miss America Display

While I have to admit that the display was smaller than I expected it to be, the information presented was very interesting.  And with the display boards being concentrated, I found that I had time to actually read the information without my kids getting overly restless.  I definitely learned a lot of information about the pageant process, as well as about Teresa’s part in it.  A Gering, Nebraska native, she was the youngest Miss America since 1937.

Miss Nebraska dress and shoe

My 6 year old girl definitely enjoyed seeing the dresses and shoes on display.  I enjoyed reading the behind the scene details.  We all enjoyed listening to her musical recordings (including her rendition of “White Water Chopped Sticks” which won her the preliminary talent award in the competition).  I also found it interesting to see her unusual hobby – you’ll have to go see the small special display.  (If you are not going to make it there before September 3rd, please e-mail me at odysseythroughnebraska@gmail.com – I can give you the details 🙂 .)  To learn more, you can visit Teresa’s own site (although from my observation, the site is still very much in progress.  She is a busy college student now!)

Note: My three boys tolerated the display and did enjoy the music.  I think it helped that the World War 2 display was directly adjacent to hers.  Since we were the only ones upstairs at the time, I let them go ahead and start looking at the World War 2 exhibit.  Everyone left happy!

At this point, we left the History Museum and went across the street to the Children’s Museum for awhile.  When we came back, the Investigative Room was open.  My kids (especially my youngest two) really enjoyed playing around in that room.  I told my daughter that I wanted her to look at the 2nd display with me.

Terri Lee dolls

Terri Lee dolls were all the rage in the late 1940’s to 1960’s.  Similar to the current American Girl dolls, she had her own wardrobe and accessories, as well as doll friends.

2 dolls + wardrobe

She began and was made for many years in the Lincoln, Nebraska area, so this was a rather large display.  Unlike Miss Nebraska, Terri Lee does have a hint of scandal.  Two of the Terri Lee factories burned down under suspicious circumstances (one in NE and one in CA).  I found that a bit intriguing, although I obviously chose not to read that part out loud to my children.

Interestingly enough, my daughter, who loves her American Girl doll, was far more interested in the Investigative Room than the dolls.  Maybe because she could play in that room and the dolls were only on display?  If I were to recreate the experience, I would arrive at 12:40 to show her the dolls, then stay and let her play in the next room.  Note: the Terri Lee dolls will be on display through September 1st, 2013.

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Categories: Lincoln, Lincoln "Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown", Metro, Nebraska History, Panhandle, Passport Pursuit Programs | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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